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The Current Patchwork Chaos: Public Transportation in America - Research Paper Example

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The paper describes public transportation in the U.S. Many people do not live in places where lines would be profitable. Since decisions upon providing service are generally market-driven, there is no public transit in these places, or they may be somewhat served by private companies…
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The Current Patchwork Chaos: Public Transportation in America
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Download file to see previous pages The discussion of whether our own government should be running a system similar to Europe’s in the United States has been ongoing, and attempts, as in the case of California, to provide a seamless way for people to get around using mass transit have been sporadic. One online site states, “In most states, intercity passenger train service is provided solely by Amtrak, with no assistance of any sort from State or local governments” (History of Amtrak California, par. 1). Using California as a case in point, The History of Amtrak California discusses how the state subsidizes its growing system with state and local money largely from the federal government. Its success over the years in promoting and funding a growing mass transportation system has proven quite successful, considering California’s notorious love affair with the automobile. “Since 1976, California has been one of several states which assist Amtrak in order to provide more service than the basic system...” (par.2). Beginning with a few bus lines to areas which had no service because of terrain or political resistance, train and rail systems grew from a mid-seventies ridership of 300,000 to innumerable routes and a total ridership of “1.2 million in FY 2005-2006....” garnering “$16 million (in revenue) for the fiscal year” (History of Amtrak California, par. 9). The California success story is an example of what government can do if it tries, and more importantly if efforts are coordinated. California’s story could not be told today if it were not for the state’s willingness to use public funds to expand mass transportation service, and its government did not acknowledge the need for people to get about. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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